MT. PLEASANT, MICH. - A 1991 Monticello High School graduate and his wife have released a book of blog-inspired essays about their life with multiple sclerosis, and portions of the book's proceeds will benefit Camp Courageous.

In their publishing debut, "Despite MS, to Spite MS," Dan and Jennifer Digmann share personal stories of their journey?alone and together?coping with and rising above a disease for which there currently is no cure. 

Dan is the son of Monticello residents Roger and Nancy Digmann, and he currently lives with Jennifer in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

"We were quite overwhelmed when it first was suggested that we publish a book of our stories, but the more we thought about it we realized it was a needed step for us to take to increase MS awareness and help people to move forward with their lives," Dan Digmann said. "We wanted to give back to Camp Courageous for everything it's done for us and for everything it continues to do for the community and for the countless individuals with disabilities it serves year-round." 

Combined Dan and Jennifer Digmann have taken on MS for nearly 25 years and together they demonstrate the extremes of how this disease impacts people so differently. Jennifer was diagnosed in 1997; Dan was diagnosed two years later. She has secondary-progressive MS, while his is relapsing-remitting. The couple was married in 2005. 

"While our life isn't easy and we are always aware of our multiple sclerosis, we hope by sharing our stories we can comfort, educate and inspire you no matter what challenges you are facing," Jennifer writes in the book's foreword.

"Despite MS, to Spite MS," will be sold locally at the Camp Courageous Gift Shop, which will be open during the annual Camp Courageous of Iowa Pancake Breakfast and Open House scheduled for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.

According to the National MS Society, more than 400,000 Americans have MS. Knowing these numbers makes it so much more amazing that Dan and Jennifer found each other in Michigan and continue to defy the odds they face together. 

In addition to maintaining a personal blog at, the Digmanns are regular contributors HealthCentral's more than 35 sites provide clinical resources and real-life support to those with life-changing conditions and serves more than 16.4 million visitors each month.

"Despite MS, to Spite MS" also is available online at
In addition to Camp Courageous, portions of the book proceeds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (see
MONTICELLO, IA --The annual Camp Courageous of Iowa Pancake Breakfast and Open House is set for Sunday, September 25, 2011  from 7:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

Camp Courageous began serving individuals with disabilities during the summer of 1974 with campers totaling 211. Camp Courageous is run on donations, without government support, without paid fund raisers, and without formal sponsorship. Today the camp is open year-round and the campers number nearly 6,000!

Camp Courageous is celebrating their 38th anniversary. A DVD presentation about the camp, as well as new camp merchandise can be found in the camp store in the main office.

In the lodge, pancakes will be prepared on six pancake grills to get everyone through the line quickly. The cost is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 12 for pancakes and sausage. Other events during the open house include a Live WMT Broadcast from the camp's main lodge. Leo Greco CDs and DVDs will be available and we will be featuring Leo's Marconi Award and Leo's accordion at the WMT table.

See the progress being made at Lake Todd, just west of base camp. Take a free train ride and be a part of a live reenactment of a train robbery by Red Cedar Regulators at the Train Depot at 9:00 AM, 9:45 AM, 10:45 AM, and 11:45 AM.  And in the Sill Barn at base camp, camp will be featuring the talents the Dixie-Notes-Plus performing free at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 AM.

The Pancake Breakfast is also kick-off for sales of the Camp Courageous Fruitcakes. The fresh baked Fruitcakes are $10.00 each.

The camp is located five miles southeast of Monticello off Highway 38 and 151 - Exit 65. You can go online to for more details.

MONTICELLO, IOWA-BP Petroleum in collaboration with their BP Fueling Communities Program, local BP stations, and Fauser Energy Resources has awarded Camp Courageous a grant in the amount of $6,250.00.  Camp Courageous is a year-round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with special needs.  Run on donations, without government support, formal sponsorship, or paid fund raisers, this year the camp will serve 6,000 campers.

Camp Courageous' relationship with Fauser Energy Resources began in 1981, when Don Fauser visited Camp Courageous as a board member of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa.  During that visit the Petroleum Marketers decided to take Camp Courageous under their wing, at a time when the camp was struggling to survive.  Since then the camp has grown from serving hundreds of campers to serving thousands of campers, is open-year round, has grown from 40 acres to 200 acres; and from 5 buildings to over 20.

"Don Fauser, and his son, Paul, have been actively involved in the success of Camp Courageous for over 30-years. They are a good and carrying family of incredible integrity...and those exceptional traits pour over into their work.  Camp Courageous feels very fortunate to have BP Petroleum and Fauser Energy Resources come together to make this wonderful gift possible," said Charlie Becker, Camp Director.

KINNICK STADIUM - SATURDAY - APRIL 23, 2011 - 12:00 PM TO  2:45 PM

This Saturday, April 23 - beginning at 11:45 AM is the Annual Hawkeye Day for Camp Courageous at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for campers to visit with the Iowa Hawkeye football players, coaches, and staff.  Camp Courageous campers will enjoy a great lunch, provided by Martin Brothers, and a tour of the Iowa football complex, including Kinnick and the practice facilities.  Campers will receive from the Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores of Iowa a special football that can be autographed by the players, coaches, and staff.

"This is one of those experiences that will never be forgotten by the campers who attend.  We can not thank enough Kirk Ferentz, along with the players and staff for this opportunity.  It is heartwarming that individuals so gifted and talented and busy will take the time to spend with these special campers.  Every year the players do an exceptional job, engaging the campers.  

We would also like to thank Martin Bros., the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa and Kum & Go for providing all the goodies for the campers. "We have campers that have had a hard time falling asleep the night before, in anticipation of this big day." said Charlie Becker, Camp Courageous.


11:45 a.m. Camp Courageous bus & campers arrive at Kinnick Stadium. Charlie Becker will check-in everyone at the Krause Plaza on the South end of the stadium.

12:00p.m. Check in; receive name tags and complimentary football. Immediately go through lunch buffet provided by Martin Bros.

12:00 p.mHawkeye football team arrives and also receive name tags, and go through buffet lunch line. Players eat at tables with campers and parents

12:30 p.m. Begin short program. Thanking sponsors (PMCI, MARTIN BROS., KUM & GO). Introduce Chig, and Coach Ferentz. Coach will speak openly about past/upcoming season...etc. Introduce players, coaching staff who may be there. As they are introduced, they will proceed to a long table and sit for autograph line. After the introductions, Campers will line up for the autographs from players and coaches. Direct campers to meet at designated location after autographs to head out on their tour.

1:00-1:15 p.m. Timing depends when the autographs are finished. Begin tours. Camp Courageous will have their campers split into groups. (Black and gold). **Photos with players will be available on the field after tours and group photo. This will help the autograph line move quickly. Tours will include : Hawkeye Locker Room, Pink Locker Room, Press Box, Black tour group will start in the Locker Rooms, Gold group will start in the Brechler Press Box.

1:45 p.m. Both groups will finish on the South end bleachers for a group photo as we have done in the past.

2:00 p.m. Free play on the field. This will end the official 'tour' portion of the day. The Bubble Practice field and weight room will be open for tours on your own, but will not be a part of the 'group tours'. Logistically it doesn't work well to do with the large group. Possibly we can have one of the players take a group of campers who are interested to the bubble practice facility.

Also, once campers are on the field with their new footballs and new best friends (Hawkeyes) they generally don't want to leave!

2:45 p.m. Dismiss the campers and head back to the busses, and depart for Camp Courageous.

For more information, please call 319-465-5916 x2100.

MONTICELLO, IA - Camp Courageous Antique Show will be held on Sunday, November 7th at the Berndes Center on the fairgrounds in Monticello. Doors will be open from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.  Camp Courageous is seeking dealers and exhibitors to display quality antiques and collectibles.  Food and beverages are available for purchase throughout the day, including pie and ice cream.  A 10'x16' space is offered with four tables for $50.00

Chuck Wolf, a professional appraiser from Maquoketa, will be available to the public throughout the day to assess items for a $5.00 fee (excluding guns, military memorabilia, and Indian artifacts).  Proceeds from this event goes to benefit Camp Courageous, a recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities of all ages.  It is run on donations, without government support, without paid fundraisers, and without formal sponsorship.

Admission for the public is $3.00 and parking is free!  For inquiries or dealer information contact Sharon Roller at Camp Courageous  (319-465-5916 Extension 2200). All proceeds for this event will benefit over 5,100 individuals with disabilities served by Camp Courageous each year.


MONTICELLO, IA - Camp Courageous will be hosting its First Annual Camp Courageous Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, August 1, 2010, 8:00 am.  All net proceeds will go to Camp Courageous.

The 500-yard swim will take place at Central Park Lake, near Amber in Jones County.  The 17-mile bike leg will be a point-to-point ride between Central Park and Camp Courageous.  The 5K run will cover both open roads and trails within Camp Courageous.

This event will be a part of the "Heart of America" triathlon series.  There will be a Pre-Event dinner at Camp Courageous on Saturday, July 31, 2010, 5:00-7:00 pm.

Camp Courageous is a year-round respite care and recreation facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities.  The camp is a not-for-profit corporation which operates on donations and serves over 5,000 campers annually.

Register online now at or download an entry form. For more information, please call 319-465-5916, e-mail: or visit the web site

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Monticello, IA–Camp Courageous is planning a "Dad & Daughters" dinner and dance. This special event is scheduled on Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14, 2010 in the camp's main lodge.

The evening begins with arrival at 5 p.m., followed by dinner served at 5:30 pm and dancing until 7:30 pm. Musical entertainment will feature selections sure to please both Dad and his Daughter(s) as they enjoy a unique evening together.

Tickets for the event are available for $25.00 a couple and $10.00 for each additional daughter.  Tickets need to be purchased in advance. For tickets or more information contact Sharon Roller at (319-465-5916 Extension 2200) or June Fellinger at Treasured Weddings (319-480-0952).  All proceeds for this event goes to benefit over 5,000 campers with special needs who visit Camp Courageous each year.

Camp Courageous is a recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities.  It is run on donations, without government support, without paid fundraisers, and without formal sponsorship.
The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa are launching their twenty-ninth annual Cent-A-Gallon Day for Camp Courageous Wednesday, November 25, 2009.  One-cent out of every gallon of petroleum products sold on the day before Thanksgiving, by participating marketers, will go to Camp Courageous.

Camp Courageous of Iowa is a year-round recreation and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities.  Run on donations, over 5,000 campers are served annually.

On this day, participating Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores will give thanks by contributing one-cent from every gallon of petroleum product sold to Camp Courageous.  "The day before Thanksgiving was picked 29 years ago," according to Charlie Becker, the camp's director, "because both Camp Courageous and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores have felt we have an awful lot to be thankful for and it was the perfect time to give thanks for all our blessings."

Posters will be displayed in the windows of participating Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores to distinguish them as participants.  The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa encourage everyone to join with their local petroleum marketer to give thanks this Thanksgiving, by helping Camp Courageous on the day before.


On October 31st the Bear River Concert Series will continue with a live performance by Joe Jencks in the Sill Barn at Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa. Doors open at 6:15 with the concert starting at 7 PM. There is a $10.00 per person suggested donation for the event, with proceeds to benefit Camp Courageous and the Grant Wood Country Foundation for the Arts.

Joe Jencks is an international touring performer and award-winning song writer. He has earned wide recognition for his songs about working people and has a life-long interest in folk music. Joe has won several awards for his original songwriting work. He has performed across the country, including Washington, Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Carnegie Hall in New York.

The Sill barn is an awesome place to experience a concert. It is a post and beam barn that looks like it was built 100 years ago yet it has central air conditioning/heating, a bathroom, and is handicapped accessible. Musicians loves the acoustics.

Camp Courageous is a year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disables that is run on donations. The camp is located at 12007 190th Street Monticello, Iowa. Please call 319-465-4069 to reserve a seat.


MONTICELLO, IA - The Camp Courageous Antique Market Show will be held on Sunday, November 1st at the Berndes Center on the fairgrounds in Monticello,  Iowa. Doors will be open from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. This show, held each spring and fall, feature dealers and exhibitors from around the Midwest displaying a wide variety of quality antiques and collectables including unique primitives, glassware, folk art, furniture and accessories, architectural elements, quilts, toys, jewelry, baskets, buttons and so much more! Food and beverages are available for purchase throughout the day, including pie and ice cream.

All proceeds for the antique show will benefit over 5,000 campers with special needs who attend Camp Courageous each year.  Camp Courageous is a year-round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities of all ages. It is run on donations, without government support, without paid fundraisers, and without formal sponsorship.

Space is still available for dealers and exhibitors to display their quality antiques and collectibles. For inquiries or dealer information contact Sharon Roller at Camp Courageous (319) 465-5916 Extension 2200.

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